After finishing out 2011 by winning the ECORS finale at Windrock, Shawn Fisher is getting back to his roots. Applying his midwestern work ethic and explosive driving style to the 2012 season, he's taking aim at the best dirt tracks and rock obstacles the east coast and midwest have to offer. His sights are set on the 2013 King of the Hammers and, if things go according to plan, his competitors are in the rear view.
Shawn's car is the Automotive Asylum Racing #419. The personalized license plate on the rig says "SYKO" and anyone who knows Shawn by his online moniker will notice the play on his charismatic and unpredictable style in the new branding. Leading up to the ECORS series opener next weekend at The Flats, Shawn took a break from prepping to tell us about himself and his plans for this year...
How did you first get involved with off-road racing?
I'm naturally competitive and it was bound to happen at some point. It all started trail riding... our little group would try to one-up each other on different obstacles which lead to racing from obstacle to obstacle. Then XRRA came along. It was all racing at that point.
Do you still go trail riding?
Before racing I wheeled anywhere, everywhere, and all the time. But now I may get to go trail riding a handful of times throughout the year. I am consumed with racing. To quote my wife Beth, "I'm not sure which I miss most, the trail riding or the money you spend racing."
What was your first trail rig?
Technically it may have been my father's 18hp riding mower but I soon learned to "borrow" his mud truck. It was a 1979 Dodge power wagon with a built 360, open headers 1/2 ton 4x4 with 7" lift on 36s. That's right I was the 12-14 year old kid doing smokey burnouts anywhere I thought I could get away with it. I took it trail riding a few times with a group of jeeps and learned I needed something smaller. So I then bought a 1979 Jeep cj-5 304 t-18 on 35" boggers. That was the main trail rig early on and it was on from there.
Where is the most interesting place you've ever been off-road?
Johnson Valley. There are so many trails to do with challenging rock climbs and tons of room to go fast. The bomb craters add a unique twist that makes going fast very interesting.
Which do you like best, sand, mud or rocks?
Like every other Mid Western boy, I started my wheeling in mud. I quickly realized that mud sucks! From there I found the Rocks and any place to go fast. I'm going to have to say that the rocks are my favorite. I have dabbled in the sand, and it reminds me a lot of mud. You need lots of HP. I have nothing good to say about sand. Those West coast boys can keep their sand. I'll take rocks and dirt tracks.
What is your favorite track, course, or park?
Harlan is my favorite ORV park. It's a central location for all the crew I wheel with, and offers miles and miles of trails. Jellico has a ton to offer in a small area. DTOR is in my back yard and has unconquered bounty hills with an awesome MX track big enough for the buggies.
[encadre=4419 Specifications | 50]
48” Twisted Customs
LQ9 6.0 V8 with cam
Aftermarket Wiring Harness from Street & Performance
Kevco Trapdoor oil pan
Stock Stall Converter
Bigger Sprag and Extra Clutches
AA Adapter and VSS
Reid Racing Knuckles
Ten Factory chromoly 35 Spline Inner and Outer Axles
Rock and Roll Solid Drive Flanges
Ballistic Diff Cover
1/2 Ton Calipers
Branik chromoly 35 Spline Double splined Axles
East Coast Gear Supply bolt on flanges
Ballistic Diff Cover
1/2 Ton Calipers
Both Axles Have Custom Built "Syko" Trusses
Complete PSC single ends ram setup with optional rear steer port in orbital
1inch Chromo Spidertrax Uppers
2inch Chromo Spidertrax Lowers
1 1/4 Midwest Heims
3/4 FK Heims
12” Fox Dual Rate Coilover Front
14” RadFlow Dual Rate Coilover Rear
4” RadFlow Air Bumps On All Corners
Front Tires - 39inch BF Goodrich KRT-B on 17inch Monster Beadlock Wheels
Rear Tires- 39inch BF Goodrich KRT-B on 17inch Monster Beadlock Wheels
Bulldog 8K Comp Winch with synthetic Rope
Art Carr Shifter
AFCO 19x22 Radiator with Taurus Fan and Shroud
Custom 13x18 Griffin transmission cooler with Spal Fan and Shroud
Bladder Style Fuel Cell With Foam, 4 Walbro Pickups, and Remote Fill
Wilwood Dual Remote Master Cylinders and Pedal Assembly
CNC Push-Pull Cutting Brake
RuffStuff Intercom with Headsets
ICOM IC-8000 Ham radio with 1/4 wave antenna
PCI Race Air System
The wheelbase is 103”. The chassis is 6’3” set with 7” of up travel. With a spare mounted on the back and full of fluids the buggy weighed just over 4000lbs.
[/encadre]What is your favorite trail?
Oh my, what a hard question. I can't pick just one. Any trail that offers a challenge that I conquer AND my buddies don't... but "Your Turn", "Lower Damnation", "Little Jagger" and, "Rattle Rock," to name a few.
Who are your sponsors?
East Coast Gear Supply
Art Carr Performance Products
Reid Racing Inc
Beth "Mrs. Syko" Fisher - investor/whiner/know it all pit help/greatest wife on earth/more fun to spoon with than the rest of the pit crew.
Matt Taylor - Co-driver/scared guy in the passengers seat
Ben "Smokehouse" Evans - backup Co-driver
Keith Adams - Crew chief/secret weapon.
Aaron Strode - backup backup Co-driver/entertainment/willing to wrench anytime.
And the driver?
I love any and all racing. Women want me and men want to be me.
Shawn and his team have their game faces on, with plans to run the 2012 Ultra4 east coast events, most of the 2012 ECORS events, the DTOR series, and maybe a TREC event this season.
Always fun to watch and always the guy with a smile and a joke, Shawn will be one to follow in 2012 and we wish him the best of luck with the season and with his goal of qualifying for the 2013 Griffin King of the Hammers!
Comment on this post here. More photos can be found in the gallery.